Sinatra, Frank [Francis Albert]
- Henry Pleasants
(b Hoboken, NJ, Dec 12, 1915; d Los Angeles, May 14, 1998). American popular singer and film actor. His parents were Italian immigrants from whom he inherited an inborn predilection for the bel canto style of singing. Though untrained as a singer and unable to read music, he immediately attracted attention while singing on New York radio programmes and was engaged as a big-band vocalist with Harry James in 1939. This was followed by a three-year engagement with Tommy Dorsey (1940–42), during which time he became a celebrity among young people on a scale matched only by Benny Goodman before him. After leaving Dorsey he was constantly in demand as a solo attraction, singing as many as 100 songs daily on a tight touring and recording schedule. Inevitably this overexposure began to tell on Sinatra’s voice and popularity, and from 1947 his career entered a noticeable decline. He continued to issue recordings for Columbia, generally in a ballad vein with lush arrangements by Axel Stordahl, but failed to match his former success. Furthermore, his flamboyant life style was causing him personal difficulties. By ...